Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter

Ethnography collection website

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum approached us when we first started talking about our CultureObject collections online solution and asked if it could be adapted to fit their data, and if so whether we could build a new site for them. We obviously jumped at the chance..

Mike was brought up just down the road from Exeter so knew the museum very well already and had watched with interest its incredible transformation into the beautifully designed and wonderfully accessible space that it is today. On the web, RAMM are also one of the thought leaders in the museum space – and one of the many ways they are forward-looking is a public API where all their collections data can be queried.

The site is a great example of why producing an easily queryable API such as this is a powerful thing to do. Because the data is available to us in a nicely strutured format, we can use our open source CultureGrid plugin. The plugin is designed for just this purpose – to talk to an API or data file and bring in the content/data natively to WordPress. Once it’s in WordPress we can do interesting things with it: search, galleries, individual record / record linking, and further integration such as sidebars with “random object” searches and so on.

The site itself is a bespoke designed WordPress theme built to fit with RAMM visual standards. Under the hood we have our usual “modular” framework which allows content editors to easily surface complex content in lots of places around the site while only having to write it once.

The team have been brilliant in providing great content for the site – and testiment to both their skill and the ease with which WordPress can be picked up is the theme section of the site which was partly populated by their curatorial staff.

Project type

They said...

We chose Thirty8 Digital to work on our Designated World Cultures website because of their experience in working with collections data and their solid reputation in the museum sector.

Their work with our Collections Database website’s API to pull object data and images into the new website and making it a seamless part of the overall product delivered exactly what we hoped for. We also used the new website as an opportunity to create an online look and feel around the RAMM branding. Thirty8 Digital were positive and responsive in testing this and in helping extend a print brand into a web product.

The new website needed to be responsive to reflect the rise in visitors accessing the website via mobile. Thirty8 Digital responded to this, and contributed to clarifying the navigation and site content for visitors. Importantly Thirty 8 digital delivered on time, on budget and facilitated the development through collaborative software.

Rick Lawrence, Digital Media Officer, Royal Albert Memorial Museum

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